Monarch Flycatchers Monarchidae

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Monarchidae Number of species: 96 species

CHAPTER

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Monarch flycatchers are small to medium birds that are 5 to 21 inches (13 to 53 centimeters) long. Their tails can be relatively short compared to their body length but some species have tails that measure 6 inches (15 centimeters). Monarch flycatchers have wide, bluish gray bills with bristles characteristic of insect eaters. They have short legs, long wings, and sharp, curved claws.

Coloring is often quite striking, with most species having no difference between males and females. In those that do show gender variations in color, many have very dramatic differences.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Monarch flycatchers can be found in southern Africa, India and Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the southern tip of Saudi Arabia. Indonesia is the home of thirty species that nest in the archipelagoes, or groups of tiny islands.

HABITAT

Monarch flycatchers prefer forest habitats, living in clearings and along the edges of the forest growth. They also can be found nesting in fruit plantations, formal gardens, and parks.

DIET

These birds are insect eaters. Most members of this family catch flying insects on the wing, while in the air. Others, however, will find insects among the leaves of trees and shrubs.

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

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